We all took a stroll through the deep dark woods… meeting the Gruffalo with Countryfile #weloveforests

Reaching the grand old age of 15 often tends to result in surliness or stroppiness.

Not so for the Gruffalo, as it turns out. He’s gone from being a fearful creature in his younger years, to rather an amiable fellow now he has reached his teens.

How do I know this? Well, we met him!wpid-4162014235714.jpg

To celebrate his birthday, Gruffalo trails have been created in 28 different forests across the country. And from June, 15 different giant 7ft Gruffalo sculptures which have lovingly been carved out of 3 ton pieces of wood will also be hidden, ready for families to track down too.

Countryfile were able to get a sneaky peek at the Gruffalo who was hiding in Wendover Woods, and we were invited to come along and walk the trail with them whilst they were there. Having been on a Gruffalo hunt before in Thorndon Country Park, the Wee Man reckoned he was pretty good at tracking him down. But this time, there were lots more fun activities to do along the way as well – with trail signs suggesting things to try such as hunting for bugs and other woodland creatures. The kids didn’t need telling twice – they were soon getting lovely and muddy having a whale of a time grubbing around in rotten logs, squelching in puddly bogness and poking at piles of leaves with sticks.

There was also a lovely den building area, with several dens already partially constructed and lots of sticks and twigs around for kids and adults alike to get creative.wpid-1030564.jpgwpid-1030567.jpg

And between all these fun activities, we spotted a few woodland creatures that we knew…wpid-4162014235456.jpg

…and then…

oh help, oh no! It’s a Gruffalo!wpid-1030542.jpg

Initially awestruck, the Wee Man and Bubby D soon got over their trepidation and within minutes the Gruffalo was getting a high five. He hung around and had a bit of a chat (why didn’t you know? On Saturday 7th of June you can have lunch with a Gruffalo! He’s having a big birthday forest picnicā€“ inspired by an exciting party pack of forest-inspired picnic ideas, activities and bunting, free to download this Spring from the Forestry Commissionā€™s website) until someone happened to mention Gruffalo crumble. That was the last we saw of him!

wpid-1030549.jpgBut in June he’ll be back in statue form, and judging by the fun that the kids had all afternoon I reckon we’ll be back too. On top of the Gruffalo Trail, Wendover Woods has a lovely cafe, a Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and a children’s adventurous play area which the Wee Man was eyeing up excitedly before we left. We love forests šŸ™‚

gruffalo you did it

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